Tag Archives: French

French gangster escapes from prison using a helicopter

French gangster escapes from prison using a helicopterWitnesses say several heavily-armed men landed a hijacked helicopter in the courtyard to free 46-year-old Redoine Faid, who was serving 25 years for murder.



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French politician Simone Veil honored with Pantheon burial

French politician Simone Veil honored with Pantheon burialPARIS (AP) — Holocaust survivor Simone Veil, who repeatedly broke barriers for women in French politics and spearheaded the fight to legalize abortion, was buried at the Pantheon on Sunday, an honor reserved for French heroes.



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Heavily armed men in helicopter free notorious French inmate

Heavily armed men in helicopter free notorious French inmatePARIS (AP) — A notorious French criminal serving 25 years for murder made an audacious escape from prison Sunday after several heavily armed men landed a helicopter in a courtyard, freed him from a visiting room and carried him away.



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Manhunt underway after notorious French gangster Redoine Faid breaks free from jail in dramatic helicopter escape

Manhunt underway after notorious French gangster Redoine Faid breaks free from jail in dramatic helicopter escapeFrance’s most famous gangster on Sunday made a spectacular jailbreak with the help of three heavily-armed accomplices who landed in his jail in a helicopter and flew out with him on board. Redoine Faid was being visited by his brother in Réau prison in the Paris region when the men burst into the room on Sunday morning and extracted him. A third man waited in the helicopter in the prison courtyard to watch over the pilot, a flying instructor whose aircraft the men hijacked in a nearby airfield and whom they forced to take part in the dramatic operation. It was the second time Faid, 46, has pulled off a spectacular jailbreak. In 2013 he became the country’s most-wanted criminal after he blasted his way out of another prison using dynamite.  He briefly took four wardens hostage before being recaptured six weeks later in a cheap hotel room. Faid, who has said he was inspired by US films such as "Scarface" and "Heat", was serving 25 years in Réau prison for his part in a botched 2010 cash-transport van robbery that he masterminded. The helicopter that extracted him on Sunday flew right across the Paris region from the jail southeast of the capital, before being dumped not far from Charles de Gaulle airport to the northeast of the city. The international 'wanted person' notice for French rober Redoine Faid Credit: AFP/Getty Images The aircraft was then set alight but was only partly damaged and the fire was extinguished when police found it a short time later. Media reports said the pilot had been released and was not injured. The prison courtyard it landed in was the only one not fitted with anti-helicopter nets as it is used by inmates only when they are being admitted or released from the jail. Spectacular helicopter jailbreaks became a regular embarrassment for French penal authorities until the late 2000s, but have petered out since prisoner exercise yards in most jails were equipped with nets to prevent choppers from landing. After the helicopter that flew Faid out of jail was torched, its occupants fled by car in a black Renault Megane which they later dumped in the underground car park of a shopping centre near the airport. They switched to a white van with the company name Enedis marked on the vehicle. A huge manhunt has been launched to track them down. All police and gendarme units across Paris were put on alert and ordered to set up checkpoints that “take into account the dangerousness of the fugitive and his possible accomplices.” The helicopter, Alouette II, abandoned by French armed robber Redoine Faid after his escape from prison Credit: GEOFFROY VAN DER HASSELT/AFP/Getty Images Faid’s brother, who was visiting him at the jail, has been taken into custody for questioning. A union representative at Reau told BFM television that "two men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas and police armbands" entered the prison to look for Faid and used a grinding machine to cut open the door that directly leads to the visiting room. Faid was serving a prison sentence for his role in the 2010 hold-up of a cash-transport van in the Paris area, in which a 26-year-old policewoman was killed. She was shot as the gang fled and used kalashnikov assault rifles to fire at police cars pursuing them along the busy A4 motorway. Two members of the gang are currently serving lengthy jail sentences for her murder. Faid has made several television appearances and co-authored two books about his delinquent youth and rise as a criminal in the Paris suburbs. In one of those published in 2010 he claimed he had given up his life of crime. Prior to the 2010 robbery, he had been released from a previous stint of a decade behind bars after convincing parole officials that he regretted his criminal past and was determined to start afresh.



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London couple who killed French nanny get 30-year sentences

London couple who killed French nanny get 30-year sentencesLONDON (AP) — A London couple who murdered their French nanny after developing a delusional obsession with a former boy-band star were sentenced Tuesday to at least 30 years in prison.



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French teen who accidentally crossed Canada-US border held for 2 weeks: report

French teen who accidentally crossed Canada-US border held for 2 weeks: reportA young French woman who was visiting her mother in western Canada spent two weeks in a US detention center after inadvertently crossing the border while jogging along the beach, a report said on Friday. Cedella Roman, 19, ran across the border just south of the town of White Rock in Canada’s British Columbia, into the US state of Washington on the evening of May 21, she told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). It was then that she was apprehended by two US Border Patrol officers who told her she had crossed illegally and had been caught on camera.



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The Mali 'Spider-Man' Was Offered French Citizenship. What About the Muslim Migrants Who Aren't Superheroes?

The Mali 'Spider-Man' Was Offered French Citizenship. What About the Muslim Migrants Who Aren't Superheroes?The coverage of Malian migrant Mamoudou Gassama reveals a great deal about our attitude toward migrants, particularly Muslim ones



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Family of saved boy thank Malian 'Spider-Man' Mamoudou Gassama, as 'true hero' receives French residency

Family of saved boy thank Malian 'Spider-Man' Mamoudou Gassama, as 'true hero' receives French residencyThe family of a small boy found hanging from a balcony in Paris have expressed heartfelt thanks to the Malian migrant who saved him. "He's truly a hero," the boy's grandmother said of Mamoudou Gassama, who climbed four floors before a crowd of well-wishers to pluck the child from danger. The four-year-old's father, who had allegedly left him in their flat to go shopping, and then stayed out longer than planned to play Pokemon Go, faces charges of child neglect. The daring rescue, which has earned him the nickname of Spider-Man, saw Mr Gassama become an overnight national hero and he was offered French citizenship. President Emmanuel Macron awarded him a medal for bravery after inviting him to the Elysée Palace on Monday and offered him a job in the fire brigade. “Thank you France. That’s all I can say,” said Mr Gassama after coming out of the state prefecture in of Bobigny, north or Paris, where he was handed a residency permit while awaiting full citizenship. It transpires that the boy had left Réunion, the French Indian Ocean island, where his mother and grandmother live, only three weeks ago for Paris to join his father, who works in the capital. His mother and the couple's second child were due to join them in June. The boy had already fallen one or two floors before somehow managing to grab hold of the fourth-floor balcony, as he is said to have pointed upwards when a resident in the neighbouring fourth-floor flat asked where he came from. His mother told Antenne Réunion that the boy's father had little experience looking after him on his own and that this was not the first time he had left him alone. "I can't justify what my husband did. People will say it could have happened to anyone and it has happened to other people. My son was just lucky," she said. Speaking of Mr Gassama’s act, she said: “If I were to meet him, I think I would say what everyone is saying: thank you, thank you!” “At any rate, I wouldn’t have been able to go one better than the president. He has been recompensed for his act.” There have been questions over why a man on the balcony of the neighbouring fourth-floor flat couldn’t simply pull him to safety. Mamoudou Gassam rescues young child from building in Paris  Credit: Telegraph But the neighbour told Le Parisien that he could only hold the boy’s hand but not pull him up because there was a divider separating the two balconies and he feared dropping him. "I didn't want to take the risk of letting go of his hand, I thought it better to do things step by step," he said. The child had been wearing a Spiderman outfit, he said, and was bleeding from his toe and had a torn nail. The boy was briefly taken into care by French authorities while police questioned his father, who was reportedly devastated, but social services concluded that the child risked no further imminent danger so gave him back custody. However, the father faces charges of failing in one's legal duty as a parent, punishable by a maximum two years in prison and a fine of €30,000 (£26,000). His mother is also due to be interviewed by social workers in Réunion. Emmanuel Macron awarded Mamadou Gassama a special medal and diploma for bravery and devotion Credit: POOL As for Mr Gassama, the 22-year-old left his native Mali in West Africa as a teenager in 2013, according to Le Monde. He crossed the Sahara desert through Burkina Faso, Niger and Libya and then traversed the Mediterranean to Italy in 2014 at his second attempt.  His first bid failed when he was intercepted at sea by police. He told Mr Macron that he had travelled to France because he did not know anyone in Italy and his brother had been living in France for many years. According to Le Figaro, he has been living in squalid migrant lodgings in Montreuil, east of Paris, with three brothers and several cousins.



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Spiderman's French fairy tale sparks migrant pride and envy

Spiderman's French fairy tale sparks migrant pride and envyAt the French migrant workers’ hostel where “Spiderman” Mamoudou Gassama was sleeping on a floor before becoming a folk hero for saving a child, his exploits have triggered a wave of pride tinged with envy. This week television crews swarmed the centre in the eastern Paris suburb of Montreuil to find out more about the 22-year-old Malian who was captured on video scaling an apartment block to bring a child hanging from a balcony to safety. Many residents were unaware the shy youth was living at the hostel and happy to see him hailed for his bravery by President Emmanuel Macron and being placed on a fast track to French citizenship.



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French citizenship, a job offered to man who scaled building to save child

French citizenship, a job offered to man who scaled building to save childThe man, an illegal immigrant from Mali, has been asked to join the fire department.



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